Poet Laureate Program

Poet Laureate - Bruce Rice


Bruce Rice is a poet, editor, and essayist living in Regina, Saskatchewan. He grew up in Prince Albert and returned to the province after ten years in the Maritimes. He holds a B.A. from Saint Thomas and a MSW degree from Dalhousie. Bruce writes about community, reclaiming the voices of those who live on the margins, and how we are transformed by landscape even as we leave our footprints on it. He has five award-winning books of poetry, including The Trouble With Beauty (Coteau), which received the 2015 Saskatchewan Book Award for Poetry, and Life in the Canopy (Hagios), which was nominated for Saskatchewan Book of the Year. His latest book is The Vivian Poems (Radiant Press, 2020). He has collaborated with artists on performances incorporating dance, music and film. Rice’s first book, Daniel, which won the Canadian Author’s Association Award, has been called “a tour de force of voice.” His work ranges from social document and critique to meditations on art, landscape and wilderness. As Rice puts it in a Malahat Review interview, “I became a better poet when I surrendered to beauty.”

The selection committee has chosen Bruce Rice to serve as Saskatchewan’s eighth Poet Laureate. Bruce is an established Saskatchewan poet with an impressive publication record including five award-winning books of poetry and numerous magazine and anthology publications. His energy and vision for a Poet Laureate is exciting. Bruce’s idea of “making more room at the table” for both writers and audiences captures the essence of the Poet Laureate as an ambassador and champion in the provincial literary arts community. His active involvement with national organizations like the Writers’ Union of Canada and the League of Canadian Poets, and his multidisciplinary work, ensures that his reputation and standing go beyond the province of Saskatchewan.

Rice is the province’s eight Poet Laureate; his predecessors were Glen Sorestad (2000-2004), Louise B. Halfe (2005-2006), Robert Currie (2007-2010), Donald Kerr (2010-2012), Judith Krause (2013-2015), Gerald Hill (2016), and Brenda Schmidt (2017-2018).

Youth Poet Laureate - Peace Akintade

  Peace Akintade is an African-Canadian poet, spoken word artist and sought-after public speaker living in Saskatoon. She is the co-coordinator of Write Out Loud, which is a Saskatoon-based youth poetry community, and a board member of Tonight It’s Poetry. She is Saskatoon’s Youth Slam Champion from 2017-2019. Her leadership and public speaking are evident in her roles as a former member of the Youth Advisory Council for the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation, and her present role in the Youth Speaker’s Bureau for the Office of the Treaty Commissioner. She is an active member of the Truly Alive Youth and Family Foundation Inc TAYFFI as a Youth spokesperson. Her poems touch on the impact of slavery in her village, colorism, growing up in Kuwait, Nigeria and Canada, and relearning her culture in the face of colonization.

The selection committee noted that Peace is a passionate performer with a powerful voice who is skilled in working in multiple media. Her energy, community involvement and a broad range of experience will make her a lively literary ambassador. We are excited to see what she will do! 
Peace is our second Youth Poet Laureate and will serve from August 1, 2020 – July 31, 2021.

For more information, please contact:
Yolanda Hansen, Program Manager
T: 306.791.7743 | E: programs@skwriter.com

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